Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As Close to Nirvana

So on & on I go, the seconds tick the time out,
There's so much left to know, & I'm on the road to find out.

--Cat Stevens

I love to horseback ride. I used to be an avid rider growing up--showed & everything. In fact I was more than just a little horse crazy--ask my sister...even after I discovered boys I still rode as much as I could--a lot of horse crazy girls then drop the sport when they discover boys. Horses just made everything right. I think it had something to do with how riding made me feel. If I had a bad day, I could go into the stall & sit in a corner with the horse quietly munching around me & just cry if I needed to. Or I could lean against this big, warm animal & inhale its scent & everything would be better with the world. And that was before I even got on to ride. I think riding gets me as close to inner peace as I can get. When I was having my issues with the sociopath--the niggling doubts, the questions, etc., I looked forward to riding because it would all just float away. Everything. All there was was me, & the horse. Yes, I had to concentrate to get over the fences or make sure I was on the correct lead, but nothing comes close to that calm I get when I ride. All of the issues that we wear around us--self-esteem, built-up defenses, our self-doubts--well, that's all gone when I'm up there flying over fences. Wish I could ride everyday--I think I'd be a much stronger person. It is just as cathartic now as it was when I was a kid--I think I just recognize it now.

I hadn't ridden in 18 years before September of this past year. I was determined to get back to it after the divorce, & all the stuff that came in between. During the 18 year hiatus I used to dream about riding--I'd wake up & feel my muscles ache as if I had. When I got back on it was amazing. It was as if I picked up where I'd left off--I knew what to do & believe it or not, I was jumping fences on that first day. The level of exhilaration still hasn't worn off. By the way, don't let anyone tell you that riding isn't exercise--it is--all core & legs & it is very good for you. It's only the good riders that make it appear as though the rider does nothing & the horse does all the work. My son still can't figure that one out--he always says I look like I don't do anything up there--all I can say is that after a particularly strenuous lesson, I DO hurt & need a soak just like anyone else who's had an extra hard workout.

Riding helps exorcise the demons which crop up. Helps me to work towards the future & negotiate the past & attempt to be ok with it, & move on. I still lean on the horse & inhale the scent of nirvana.

Oh--I am closing the book on the ugly month of March. It has been a very difficult one from the beginning explosion to the whimper at the end--in like a lion, out like a lamb...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rebounding in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.....

Had an interesting date fall into my lap last night....I had been receiving a few emails from some men on various sites & one guy called me Friday afternoon. We talked for about an hour & he asked if I wanted to go with him to see Cirque De Soleil that night. Now who am I to turn away a cool first date like that? He had comp tix because he works in local media--photojournalist, cameraman...and he didn't have a date so I guess I was the lucky recipient. He definitely met a lot of my criteria & our backgrounds were quite similar so again, who am I to turn that down?

It started great--he showed up at the house looking pretty good--nicely dressed, tall, blue eyes...nice. He is a wine drinker so I brought up a couple of my nicer ones: a choice between an Altos Reserva Malbec & a Truchard Pinot Noir. He chose the Pinot, and we spent about 45 minutes chatting & enjoying a nice wine. Good chemistry--no camparisons in sight. Yea!

We go to Cirque, which was wonderful & we continue having fun--super seats--I guess when you have press comp tix you get the good seats. We leave & pull out of the parking lot and....his car dies. I mean, DIES. It would turn over but it appeared that there was no fuel getting to the engine or something. I'm cool with it--what can you do? He doesn't have his AAA card so I use my AAA plus one so we have free towing. I tell him it's all good & not to be too bummed--I'm still having fun even in the pouring rain. He gets really sullen & withdrawn & I try to pull him out of it...so here's where I begin to pay closer attention to his way of handling minor bumps in the road. The tow truck arrives, car gets loaded, & we drive to a station near my house so I can get my car & drive him home. Finally he seems to snap out of his funk & suggests that I come in for some wine at his place.

Against my better judgement, & the fact that it's now 1 AM, I agree. He doesn't live far from me & I've decided that, if nothing else, Mr. Cameraman can be a rebound test. Will I make comparisons? Will I want the sociopath instead? So far so good. As the morning progresses I decide that I couldn't pursue anything with this guy beyond this time--he's too moody & way too self-contemplative for me (word?). But he chooses a nice wine: Molly Dooker--The Boxer and his house is very nicely decorated--I ike the art & the Emmys...our music tastes are the same & he's pretty cute. So we enjoyed ourselves & my test works. No comparisons & wishful thinking--at least for this particular brief interlude.

What ultimately I get out of this is that there are other men out there like the sociopath that match with me well & that eventually I will find him. Hopefully without certain of the traits of the sociopath or Mr. Cameraman. It does give me hope. Now hopefully I won't see him aroud the community--we do frequent the same shops, etc...Can you say, AWKWARD?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

Carrie: After a break-up, certain streets, locations, even times of day are off-limits. The city becomes a deserted battlefield, loaded with emotional landmines. You have to be very careful where you step or you could be blown to pieces.

From: Sex & The City

I know my mom meant well. We were on the phone catching up some stuff in preparation for their return to Baltimore when she had to ask me.
"So has the sociopath called you yet?" I was struck to the core.
I said, "No, why would he?"
She said, "I figured that by now he would have popped up again."
I replied, "Nope, not a word or text."

Here I was doing sooo much better this week. Inner resolve, thoughts about having much higher expectations, watching Oprah with Steve Harvey & Tough Love on VH1 & maybe understanding my mistakes a little bit better as a result. And then there it was again: him. And me thinking about him and missing him & a very teensy part of me wanting him to call but dreading if he did. Because she has a point. That has been his past MO & I still wouldn't put it past him in the future to contact me again. I just hope, if & when the time comes, that I have enough inner resolve to let it go unanswered.

I had been looking toward the future for most of the week & doing pretty well: fairly optimistic, & there it was, the past & my pain, squatting there like a troll with warts wielding a truncheon. Again, I know mom didn't mean to hurt me but it did send me spiraling a bit. It was a good thing I had sparring class last night & that two other schools joined ours. I didn't have too much time to think about it. When I got home last night I just crashed--lights on & everything. I am doing better today--reminding myself of the progress I've made, but I am still a little sad though I'm not wallowing.

On the plus side, although I'm not actively seeking, I have been getting a few emails here & there & that's been fun. I'm not treating anything too seriously & I'm not expecting anything right now either so I'm not spending too much time emailing back or visiting sites.

I did block the sociopath on the website where I met him though. The intake of breath whenever a silver volvo like his goes by, or I see a DC plate, or I hear a song by Spoon that was significant, isn't quite as deep or as painful now & that in & of itself continues to give me hope for getting past this soon. I am trying to find the good in the relationship--the aha!, what-did-I-learn-from-this fiasco part, & I think I'm starting to find it...again, work in progress. I think someone once told me that I'll wake up one morning & the little niggling pain that's left will be gone & it will truly be a brand new day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shooting Star

Letting the dog out this morning I was looking up at the sky & marvelling at the beauty of the big dipper. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a shooting star. Of course I made a wish. That's the fourth one I've seen in my life aside from a meteor shower or two which in my book don't count. Two times when I was a horseback riding instructor at a summer camp in NC, once this past summer with my BFF(J) in Cali when we each saw 2 a piece, and now. Everytime my wishes have come true. The event this morning reminded me of last week's strange occurance while at work--the feeling, almost tangible of great & joyful lifetime experiences to come. Some folk would say I'm superstitious, I think it's just the universe reminding me that it's listening....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Asking the Universe With Gratitude

It was a good weekend despite the moments of weakness. Actually it was a great weekend now that I think about it. I LOVE my friends! They are the awesomest, most amazing, loving, supportive, & fun--I am truly grateful--I cannot say this enough! Even though I do miss the couple thing it was kinda nice to be back into my routine. Before the sociopath (BS--OMG--I am soooo killing myself here! Glad I can crack myself up) I had a particular pattern of weekend events. Friday nights are TKD--my friends there & then dinner with my girlfriend & my son. She wasn't there this Friday but my son & I went to our favorite Korean place for He De Bop. I realize how nice it is to reconnect with my child--we've been doing that a lot this weekend--he is a great guy & actually dealing with this whole relationship thing may be good for him to see example of how not to act for future knowledge. We even went running together today, discussing his life & his dreams--haven't done that in a while--again, great to reconnect with the most important person in my life.

Saturday mornings again TKD (Yep--we're there a lot) & then later is of course the Saturday Best Friend's Wine Tasting (SBFWT) This week my BFF(J) brought two friends from Harford County with her. She had known them when they all lived and partied in Fell's Point together. Now they are both married with children but were able to sneak away as they said to join us. Now here is where I hope I never have to "sneak away" to do something like hang out with my BFFs. Where maybe being single is a plus--I only have to worry about babysitting at night. That's one reason why I love the both of my BFFs so much. They never forget their girlfriends--ever. They make time for me & for us. They accept me even though I don't have a man to complete the couple thing and invite me to dinners. They don't have to ask permission or sneak away--they are their own people. They are straightforward & tell it like it is which I definitely need right now. I never have to pretend either or be concerned that my quirkiness might be a little, well--quirky. They are easy to be with--no drama. I don't need friends that make being friends with them difficult--you know the type--you have to work to be their friend & there's always toe-squishing or hurt feelings. Plus they are great fun to be with--as if that's the bonus.

There's this unspoken rule that once you are a "single" being invited to dinner parties or other "couple" events is not an option. There is a group of folk from our outer social circle where this definitely holds true. Unless there's a party I'm invited to, I am not invited to a dinner party--except with my BFFs. That sucks because I'd love to be included but it just doesn't happen so I see these folk usually at parties & no other time. And when I do see them it's a lot of them asking about my dating life--almost the whole vicarious living thing. That gets tired kinda fast. Of course they all wanted to know about the sociopath unless they'd met him. Now they'll all wanna know about the break-up & I'll be expected to regale them of that drama--AGAIN. I think I'm done telling the story now--

After the tasting, which created a very tipsy me--I wasn't driving. We all go back to BFF(J)'s house for sushi and---you guessed--more vino! It was fun just being a bunch women enjoying each other & just hanging out. Even better was that I was supposed to drive my son & his friend (BFF(A)'s son) to a dance. It 7:45 & I needed to leave to get the boys but instead my BFF(A)'s husband called & offered to take them & pick them up! Wow! So cool--again allowing the friends to have such important time together. Eventually my BFF(A) & I left to get back to her house for when the boys got back but by that point it was very late & we were all tired anyway.

My friends tell me to ask the universe for what I want--kinda like the whole The Secret thing. So I am asking, but I am also asking with gratitude because of the kind of enduring & deep relationships I have with two of the most amazing women I know.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Man & Mulderbosch

Ever since my divorce I've bought wine. At first it was the "Two Buck Chuck" kind & then I moved on to the Yellowtail types. Soon after I started working for BCPS(S) I expanded my wine collection beyond the baseline--not because my job drove me to drink mind you, just because there was a great little wine store right near my school. I began to read the magazines for the best values & found that a good Pinot Noir was all that was needed to make me quite happy. Now I think I have a "cellar" that can hold its own--from decent Chardonnays to Vouvrays to a lovely local Cabernet Franc from Boordy. What is the absolute best thing about my wines is the fact that now my BFFs appreciate them at least as much as I do & look forward to our Best Friend's Wine Tasting every Saturday. Now however, I have wines in my house that I need to drink--they are reminders that I do not want & make me sad. As I was drinking a glass of Man Pinotage 2006 this evening, trying to erase its existence without wasting it, (it really is quite good by the way), I couldn't help thinking about certain people. Yes, I know, but....

My mind wandered a bit thinking what if I had gotten back with him--what would that look like? Maybe for a month things would have been wonderful--I imagine a level of attentiveness that would have been beyond what I'd experienced before--I would be ecstatic & on the clouds....Would've gone to see Ozomatli most likely. But, like the last episode of Ugly Betty where all of the girls in the bar have numbers on their chests indicating which lover they were from 1 to 159, & they all whispered in Matt's ear, as soon as a call went unanswered or he showed up late, or he disappointed me in even a minor way, I would be on the edge of crazy-woman again. I don't like myself that way at all. I would always be suspicious of him--where he was, what he was doing when we weren't together--it would make me so anxious & on edge. Never trusting him completely. Always asking questions. I couldn't live my life with him that way....which is why I won't.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Workman's Comp

Is there Workman's Comp for hearts?

I was walking down the hall of my school to go teach Taekwondo in the afterschool program. I had forgotten my uniform so I was prepared to teach in a skirt but take off my heels--yep, that's the kind of day it had been. I was already late because I received a phone call from my boss which required me to pull up information on my computer to take care of a potential problem from a past meeting on a kid. Turns out that all was in order so nothing bad would happen...thankfully. So I was marching briskly down the hall to the gym when all of a sudden I trip & land right on my ass! Immediately my ankle swells noticeably. Teachers run into the hallway to see what happened & they call the nurse. So starts my ordeal with Baltimore City Public Schools' Workman's Comp & being the single gal.

After filling out the forms, I'm told I have to go downtown to Mercy to get checked out. Well now! Who's supposed to take me? Both my BFFs have family obligations, my folks are out of town, my sis lives in Chicago, etc., etc...So I call one of my buddies (now known as my Prince) from work--he wonderfully comes to my rescue, even being sick with the creeping crud. So after a number of hours in the bowels of Mercy Hospital, trying figure out the role of the medical groupie who follows all of the uniform-clad nurses & NPs, but is not in a uniform herself....a few x-rays & one motrin 800 (I begged for something more fun), I am released on my own recognizance with what I knew I had in the first place--a very minimal sprain. Yeesh--all this for nothing, not even a day off or a percocet! Actually was offered a few days off--but I just didn't see the need or the aggravation it would cause.

But the point of this story, & I do have one, is that it was quite hard to be alone here with ths emergency. As a single gal with a kiddo, it is doubly difficult--at least my child could let himself in at home. My BFF(A) actually kept him at her house for me while I was sitting in the ER at Mercy. I cannot stress this enough: we need our friends--those who will watch the kid when you sprain your ankle, those who will pick you up & drive you, sit with you, try to figure out the medical groupie Mercy mystery with you, & also all of those friends on FB who show their concerns too. After the horrible nature of my break-up & the subsequent rallying that my network of friends have done for me, I am always grateful to the universe for the people who, for some reason, love me & are willing to be there no matter what--we single moms need that more than anything else--

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


In an attempt to work through the pain & move toward the future, I continue to reflect on things I need to remember to remind myself why I cannot EVER return to a "friendship" with anyone who acts in a manner that my recent past man did. Aside from the fact that about 10 of my friends would haul me out of my house & beat the living shit out of me, black belt or not if I ever considered it seriously....

When the relationship was relatively new, & I was overly eager: read, somewhat obsessive, my BFF(A) told me to go buy the book Men Are From Mars... I did & one section talked about letting rubberbands stretch because they always came back. I used to wear a rubberband around my wrist when I got too intense & I would pluck myself to keep my head on straight--not sure it worked too well mind you, but at least I tried. Anyhow, I am using the following situation as my rubberband to remind myself of why I cannot be with a man like this again. This story actually comes from the other woman who told me this when we were shooting tons of emails & phone calls back & forth after all hell broke loose a few weeks ago. What folks don't know is that she & I had many conversations about what happened & I truly think it helped me, but this story sticks out as the biggest, most egregious act by the sociopath, AKA the Bull.

After my son came back from sailing camp last summer I was anxious to see his newly acquired sailing skills. I was also anxious for him to meet the sociopath because I had been dating him for roughly a month & he was becoming quite a large part of my life & I wanted my son to be included. Since we were all sailors, the sociopath had the idea that we should rent a boat--the kind he raced: a Flying Scot and spend the day out on the bay. So we meet down on the South River near Annapolis, late of course, & get ready to go out. The wind is blowing at 15-20 knots which is just about on the edge for an 18 foot boat, but we decided that we were capable enough to handle it. It was a little dicey at first but we managed not to flip & had a great time. We ended by going to a BBQ place near Annapolis & then we all come back to my house. It was great--we had a blast & now the introduction to my son was complete.

Here's the yuck, make your skin crawl about this. The sociopath had left his son with the other woman so she could babysit him--the day of sailing, all that night until the middle of the next day! When she told me this, I just about fell out of my chair! How can someone DO that???!!! So this is the story that I remind myself of every time I have a weak moment & I have quite a few. My co-worker, the social worker at my school suggested that I write this story down in the blog because it would make it more real--I think she's right. It is a testament to my future without these types of men fucking it up. Catharsis is important. I am still working on it & I will derive more strength from this--

I will get there. I know this because today I had a very odd moment; an almost physically tangible feeling of auspiciousness. Of a great outcome--a flooding of joy for the future--fleeting, but definitely present.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Alone Again, Naturally

So I've come to the realization that I need to go it alone for a while. This is not a bad thing...convincing myself of this is what is at issue. I cannot continue to 1) wallow in self-pity & 2) attempt to go out on a date & think everything's ok. Case in point: last night's date. Very nice guy--just not for me. He took me to a great place to eat, we had good conversation, but all I could do was make comparisons--and that my friends, is the problem. Things ran through my head like, "here we are at a French restaurant, & he doesn't get the menu--not a food sophisticate like...", or " the mini-plaid just doesn't work here", or "there is absolutely no excitement to this conversation like I used to have with..."--SIGH. I hate that what I loved about the Bull is clouding my ability to judge new potentials objectively....I'm just not there yet. And what sucks even more is the fact that even though the Bull has serious character flaws, and I would not ever consider going back with him because of them, I still miss all of the really good qualities that ultimately were what I was looking for. My friends say that I'm then one step closer to finding my ideal because I recognize the kind of man I want sans the sociopathic traits. Yeehaw!!

I also know what he's up to as well--not because I've talked to him, but because I know him. He's currently fucking his way around DC & reconnecting with past girlfriends to fuck them too. That twinges my inner competitive edge--I know that's a bit twisted but it kills me thinking that he's doing this & I have no one. Not that fucking your way around DC means that anything meaningful or connected comes from it but it tweaks me just the same.

Anyhoo, having decided to forgo the dating scene for a while takes a little bit of the stress off of me--but not a lot. I get to go "work on myself". Yes, all of the break-up advice is swirling like a swiftly overflowing post-flood river from all points--friends, co-workers, frenemies, etc. What I despise though are all of the people who say to me: "You need to be happy by yourself before you can be with someone else." You know what? Fuck that!! I'll never be happy with myself--is anyone truly? I will be "in a better place" sometime, ready to share myself again soon, but I will always be looking for self-improvement, always. If I wait until "I'm happy with myself" (background music should be lightly happy, flowery music--girly to be precise with butterflies fluttering gaily above wildflowers) I will be waiting forever! No, I decided I needed a break because I realistically cannot be with anyone with the ghost of the Bull lingering. I still cry sometimes, though not as much & I think it has more to do with the going to the parties again as the single girl with all the marrieds and the fun we had going to music with my BFFs & their husbands. It was nice being part of a couple again--but I'll deal--been here before.

And according to BFF(J), and this one I DO believe, "When you least expect it, expect it..."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Dates & Other Follies

After being off of the dating web sites for a while, it's always interesting when you go back on. It's almost as if I was a new member because of all the guys who email & wink, etc. As a result I generated a lot of interest including that guy from DC I saw on Wednesday. I should totally get it by now when it comes to guys who come on strong before they meet you & then disappear after. Yup--refer back to the book & now movie "He's Just Not That Into You" & you get the picture. I thought he was very cute & I thought our date went very well judging by the kissing, etc. but I was so wrong. Prior to meeting, & here's my mistake I think, we texted each other pretty much nonstop for 2-3 days as well as talking on the phone. Conversation was easy & borderline risque. That's the problem I think--the hunt--too easy perhaps? Been hearing a bit about being a bitch & not appearing too eager. Yet, my natural & passionate inclination is just to be myself--if I like you then I can't help it. I wish I could be nonchalant but that's just not me. If I'm not charged by the guy then I couldn't be cooler. This occured with the Bull too--totally swept off my feet. There was another very nice guy I met about the same time, but he just didn't do too much for me--we dated for awhile but eventually I just couldn't justify fooling this guy & wasting his time knowing full well that it would go nowhere when I was so into the Bull. Hence the dilemma I face. The DC guy was another one I really dug & I must have worn that on my sleeve because after that first date we had plans to get together Friday night, but after a few dwindling texts he was gone. Ah well. At least there were a few more guys who were interested.

So now I face another date tonight with a new guy--he has a few things going for him right off the bat--he's a sailor, he's an animal person, he's laid-back, & has similar musical tastes. Oh--& he's another Taurus--very good for a Cancer. (At least I thought so--hence the Bull--but there were other reasons for that name too). Additionally, he is a wine person & a foodie so more pluses. We've had great conversations so far but here's the rub--I sense a bit of loneliness & neediness which send me off running in the other direction before we've even met. How much does that sound like a male response??!! Yikes!! But I will give him a chance & try desperately not to compare him to another Taurus I used to know...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Well Read? Now Even MORE Time!!!

Are You Well-Read?

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Copy into a new note Put an X next to the ones you've read. Include the number you have read in the headline and tag your friends!

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - X
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling- X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - X
6 The Bible - X (both old & new)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - X
8 1984 - George Orwell - X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman -X
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens -X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy - X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare -X--Believe it or not!!!
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - X
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - X
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliott-X
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens-X
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy-X
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - X
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - X
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - X
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - X
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy-X
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - X
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - X
34 Emma - Jane Austen - X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen -X
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne - x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown- x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving -
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins -
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy-X
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood - X
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan-X
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel -X
52 Dune - Frank Herbert - X
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons-X
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth -
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck -x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - X
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt-X
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - X (In French)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac-X
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy-X
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie -
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - X
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - X
76 The Inferno - Dante - X
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray - X
80 Possession - AS Byatt - X
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens-X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell -
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - X
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - X
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert-X (In French)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - X (In French)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - X
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - X
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - X
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - X (In French)

Thanks CC for suggesting to blog this! It seems I've read the majority of what is on this list--thanks Bryn Mawr & Washington University?? Or wow, you really ARE an English Lit major!! Or gee, you really have no social life! Choose one or choose all--

Now I need to finish the list as it seems I now have soooo much more time to devote to good books....79 out of 100....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Underdog of Multiple Meanings

But you won't hear from the messenger,
don't wanna know bout something that you don't understand,
You got no fear of the underdog,
that's why you will not survive! (Hey!)

Spoon--The Underdog

Not flogging a dead horse, or bull, but I still reflect on last week's
explosion with a great deal of sadness.People may say that it's
time to move on & I am, but I still sigh a lot, tear up a bit, & try
to find what was good in what occurred.
It ain't easy. I like the piece from the song above--it is especially
appropriate on numerous levels. First of all--it was a favorite band
of the two of us, it was my ringtone for
the bull, & the lyrics themselves just call out for interpretive
application to the situation & people.

This blog serves a great purpose. If we take the Bull's interpretation
of relationships as winning & losing, then I am the underdog here.
I never meant for what happened as deliberate or i
ntentional--it was all purely accidental, but it
definitely outed some very bad behaviors. The Bull continued to
harass me to take this blog down & blamed me (& it), for what
happened to his sorry ass. Telling me that I was cruel for not
doing it, trying to bully me & make me feel guilty. Then he changed
his tactics--imploring me, wheedling me & then saying that
I should "do the right thing".

So in an effort to move on, I have a date today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Beginnings, Old Profile

Been here before. I distinctly remember a post to this blog about picking myself up, etc. But weirdly this time I'm looking forward to the fun again. Instead of the dread, I am already having fun. Yeah, I do miss certain aspects of my ex-relationship with the Bull & yes I know I'll have to go back to the 50 first dates/kiss a lot of frogs part of life, but...all it took was a convo with the other woman in this story who said she was already back on-line last week & was talking to someone to give me a bit of a jolt. She even offered to share him since we'd had such luck with that before....If after all the bullshit (heh) she still wanted to begin dating right away & put this chapter behind her, then maybe I could too. I like her--I think we've been through a lot that only we can understand & she seems pretty cool. I wished we'd met under better circumstances because I think we'd be friends. It's a little weird right now, though. Perhaps in time. I want to publicly wish her luck because I think we both went through varying levels of hell & to find out all of this via my blog was beyond a punch in the gut.

But back to the original thought thread...after being given that little cattle-prod (heh), I have put my profile back in active status & tried to reconnect with some of the guys I rejected before because they just didn't measure up at that time. Now I can view them in another light--one not shadowed by bullshit. (God, I kill myself!) So already there have been some promising prospects--I am quite excited. I took a departure from my usual haunts & paid for another service that I hadn't tried yet. Just like last summer when I met the Bull, there are about 10 guys who seem pretty interested & are actually very interesting. The best one so far is a bit like Aiden on SATC. He even seems to have a bit of that rehab persona...we're already scheduled to meet for lunch this week. There is definitely that spark in conversation that I look for & I think he feels it too judging by the texts flying back & forth between us. Oh, & our birthdays are only 5 days apart--I'm the older woman. But, he's another D.C. There's another sailor--a bit older but has great taste in music--some emails exchanged. A guy that I had begun talking to when I was still with the Bull (one of those times I was full of doubt) called tonight & he seemed pretty even-keeled & a nice Jewish boy. There are a few more but we're at the kinda impersonal stage of introductory emails. So I feel pretty good that there's been a lot of interest generated again. Woohoo! For a while there just wasn't anything that I liked--I think the blinders are off & here we go again....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

if he's sleeping with another woman......

"But sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe... it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is... just... moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up."

"You've think you won because women are expendable to you. You may not get hurt or make an ass of yourself that way but you don't fall in love that way either. You have not won. You're alone. I may do a lot of stupid shit but I'm still a lot closer to love than you are."

--Gigi from He's Just Not That Into You

One of my girlfriends took me to see this movie today against her better judgement. The quotes above represent some of the things I identified with when I heard them. The first one because of the future. The second one because that's how I believe things are for the Bull. I wanted to see it because not only had I read the book shortly after my divorce, but I really wanted to see what situations would arise. I did not get upset, I did not cry, although I've done a lot of that this past week, I just realized that what's happened to me is part of the hope. It is a process & I will rise from the ashes again.

My girlfriends have been amazing this week & weekend. Checking up on me, occupying my time, wine tasting of course, allowing me to cry & not saying "I told you so." Although most of them did say that they never trusted him. People may ask why I'd cry with the situation being the way it was. I think I mourn the loss but also I think about how so many lives were affected by this man's reckless approach to being in a relationship(s). I had been receiving texts from him about taking down this blog--but one of the last ones he sent said the following: "So now you've won." How have I won? Against everyone's advice to have no contact with him, I sent the answer & what I truly believe: "We all lost....."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Time to Kick-Ass!

Sparring class can be so cathartic! See that picture?--I imagine my foot smashing into the Bull's face! So satisfying! I was a bit of a demon tonight--channeled my inner anger & went after the men in particular-- But the guys at my taekwondo school are super-cool & are great buddies so I am lucky that they let me wail on them. It was needed. Never forget: Indomitable Spirit!

Too many feelings keep cycling through me--thank you to everybody who has been there for me--I have never felt more loved & supported--you all are the best! I am lucky to have such an amazing network of friends! Kisses...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Break-Up Times Two

Carrie: You can have the guts and the courtesy to tell a woman to her face that you no longer want to see her. Call me crazy, but I think you can make a point of ending your relationship in a manner that does not include an email, a doorman or a missing persons report. I think you could all get over your fear of looking like the bad guy and actually have the uncomfortable break-up conversation because here's what avoiding that is what makes you the bad guy

Carrie: Oh uh, Berger broke up with me on a post-it.
Miranda: On a post-it?
Carrie: Uh huh. Uh huh. Yep. Read it and weep my friends.
Samantha: (Reading the post-it) "I'm sorry, I can't. Don't hate me." The motherfucker's consise.

From: Sex & The City

After another great weekend.....

So here it goes again--I am the bad guy. Somehow this is all my fault. Being broken up with by text message and an angry, self-righteous phone call is about the same as a post-it. But apparently it is justified because I've "ruined his life." Actually I've exposed him for the lying, cheating prick that he is. He played us--both of us--and there is a real aspect of cruelty about this whole situation. He claimed that he had broken up with her but he hadn't. He never told her about me & she found out by reading this very blog...and somehow I'm the bad guy--How dare me!!! She has thanked me for having this blog because even though she is hurting at least as much as I am, she now sees the Bull in truth--if that is even possible with him. I told him via email that it was Karma--and what goes around comes around...he didn't like that too much & told me never to contact him again....

I can't even begin to put into words just how angry & hurt I am. And how stoopid I feel that he led me on for this long. I thought we had something special & wonderful. How fucked up was that! He has been maintaining this elaborate lie for months & involving children too! All of our children were involved & had relationships with him & his son. How irresponsible! And he thinks this blog was irresponsible?? I never said names or indicated anything too specific but apparently the Bull's big mouth really got him in trouble. He told the other poor, duped woman about all the activities we did but he claimed it was with his mother, or friends, etc. Instead all the activites were with me. She quoted my blog back to him & he has the unmidigated gall to say this is my fault! Motherfucker indeed! More later. CFW said she'd cut off his dick for me...maybe I'll let her.